There’s No Justification for Banning the Sale of Fur


banning the sale of fur
The following essay appeared recently in the Toronto Star (Canada’s largest circulation newspaper), as the pro-fur side of a debate on whether banning the sale of fur apparel and accessories is justifiable.

If we look at facts, those of us who care about the environment, ethical lifestyles, and social justice should promote natural fur, not seek to ban it. Let’s review some of the reasons why wearing fur makes sense for anyone wishing to embrace a sustainable and responsible way of living.

Fur today is produced responsibly and sustainably. Only abundant furs are used, never endangered species. This is assured by provincial/state, federal and international regulations.

In the wild, most species produce more offspring than their habitat can support to maturity. Animals that don’t make it feed others, and we too can use part of this natural surplus. This is an excellent example of  “the sustainable use of renewable natural resources”, a cornerstone of the World Conservation Strategy.

There is little waste. Many fur animals – especially beavers and muskrats — provide food for trappers and their families. Others are returned to the woods to feed birds, mice, and other animals. And because fur is “prime” in late Fall/Winter when the young of the year are already autonomous, activist claims that coyotes or other animals leave behind “starving pups” are nonsense.

Many furbearers would be culled even if we didn’t use fur. Overpopulated beavers flood property. Coyotes are top predators of lambs, calves and, increasingly, pets. Raccoons and foxes spread rabies and other diseases … the list goes on. But if we must cull some of these animals to maintain a balance, surely it is more ethical to use the fur than to throw it away?

SEE ALSO: Reasons we trap. Truth About Fur website.

Trappers take animal-welfare responsibilities very seriously: Canada is the world leader in humane trapping research, and traps are certified to conform with the Agreement on International Humane Trapping Standards. Trapping is also strictly regulated in the US, under state “Best Practices” provisions.

SEE ALSO: Neal Jotham: A life dedicated to humane trapping.

Fur farmers – producing more than half the fur in North America — follow codes of practice to ensure their animals receive excellent nutrition and care. Farms are certified to confirm that codes are followed, and farmers may be charged for animal cruelty if they are not. In any case, providing proper care is the only way to produce high-quality fur.

SEE ALSO: Calling PETA: US fur farming is strictly regulated.

Farmed mink recycle left-overs from our own food production – parts of cows, chickens and fish that we don’t eat and might otherwise clog landfills. Manure, straw bedding, and other farm wastes are composted to produce high-quality organic fertilizer, completing the agricultural nutrient cycle.

In contrast to mass-produced “fast fashion”, each fur garment or accessory is crafted individually by artisans, maintaining skills passed from father to son or daughter. Furs are preserved (“dressed”) using alum salts, lanolin, and other benign chemicals; the activist claim that “a World Bank report cited fur dressing as polluting” is simply not true. Furthermore, furs come in a wide range of natural colours, minimizing the need for dyes.

Fur is long-lasting, recyclable, and after decades of service can be thrown into the garden compost. Compare that with fake fur and other synthetics: generally made from petrochemicals, they are not biodegradable and leach micro-particles of plastic into our waterways when washed — plastics that are now being found in marine life. Cruelty-free indeed!

SEE ALSO: The great fur burial. Truth About Fur proves that fur biodegrades.

Fur, however, is the activists’ designated scapegoat. Perhaps because fur is often associated with glamour and wealth? But most fur producers are not wealthy or glamorous. The ugly lies parroted by anti-fur activists are all the more odious because they attack the integrity and livelihoods of hard-working farm families; of First Nations and other trappers who are among the last people maintaining our North American land-based heritage; and of artisans producing warm and durable clothing with responsibly produced natural materials.

There is little public discussion of how insulting and hurtful activist lies are for the people involved. Living far from media centres, their voices are rarely heard. was created to help bridge that gap.

No one is obliged to wear fur, but each of us should have the right to make this decision for ourselves. Especially because animal activists now oppose any use of animals. The same misleading and insulting arguments and tactics used against fur are now being mustered against wearing leather, silk and wool; against eating meat or dairy products. Shall all these products be banned as well?

Each of us can decide where we draw the line, these are personal choices. But if you believe it’s ethical to use animal products that are produced responsibly and sustainably, you can wear fur with pride.


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  • Alan has spent a lifetime exposing PETAfile & HSUSite hypocrisy & despite the demise of common sense, he has been able to put us in a place where everyone should be able to understand that his cause is just.

    Richard Adams Watership Down exposed.

    Animal rights activists are accused of inciting violence against celebrities
    By Paul Kelbie, Scotland Correspondent
    02 March 2004…sp?story=497004

    Animal rights activists have posted the names, home addresses, and telephone numbers of more than 100 famous people on a website inciting fellow activists to carry out firebomb attacks.

    The celebrities, who include Billy Connolly, Harry Enfield, and Jeremy Irons, have been targeted because of their support for hunting, shooting, or fishing. Special Branch officers are understood to have been in contact with a number of people on the list warning them of the dangers.

    Under the headline “Celebrity Bloodsports Scum”, the website, posted by a previously unknown group of activists calling themselves Badgers Unknown, calls the celebrities “twisted perverts and walking advertisements for eugenics”.

    Yesterday a spokesman for the Countryside Alliance – the senior figures of which have also been identified – labeled the suspects believed to be behind the hate list as “vicious and dangerous people”.

    The alliance has been monitoring the site, which hints at violence and death threats, for a few weeks. It has already succeeded in having it pulled from one internet service provider only to see it pop up elsewhere. A previous version of the site also contained veiled threats and incitement to violence against the celebrities named. “These people don’t live in fireproof houses. They’re not immortal,” it read.

    Richard Adams, the author of Watership Down, heads the alphabetical list, which gives his home address and private telephone number because he is known to be a keen angler. Other celebrities named include Sting, Ian Botham, Jeremy Clarkson, Roger Daltrey, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Sir Jackie Stewart, and Raymond Blanc. The Right Rev Peter Price, Bishop of Bath and Wells, and the Right Rev John Oliver, Bishop of Hereford, are also on the hate list although it does not associate them with any specific blood sport.

    “We don’t know who put this site up but we can have a fair guess,” said a spokesman for the Countryside Alliance. “The same sort of people who were involved in the Huntingdon Life Sciences campaign, which was against people’s homes, their families, and extended families, are behind this.”

    Yesterday none of the established animal rights groups such as the Animal Liberation Front or the Hunt Saboteurs Association admitted to knowing anything about who was behind the campaign, despite their own sites being advertised by Badgers Unknown. The actor Bernard Cribbins, an enthusiastic angler, was also among those listed on the site. “I am surprised that I’m on the list. It’s extraordinary. I shall have to contact the local police and see what they know about it,” he said yesterday.

    Another celebrity named was Billy Connolly, whose 15-acre Highland estate in Strathdon, Aberdeenshire, has its own trout loch. Two years ago, Connolly angered animal activists when he turned up at his local Highland Games wearing a badger’s head on his sporran. Amid fears that the secluded house and grounds could be attacked, a spokesman for Grampian Police said last night that they were well aware of the website and its contents. “We are monitoring the situation,’ he said but refused to comment on any security arrangements.

    A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said that the force was also aware of the website but was unable to comment on any Special Branch intelligence operations.


    Eventually, these idiots are going to really kill someone.
    The life you live is a product of the choices you make.

    This is from an observation I found on Richard Adams in 1986 but can see it is really a ghost that is coming to roost on his porch now.

    Donnie Mac Leod
    Active Member

    The piece above notes this point.

    Richard Adams, the author of Watership Down, heads the alphabetical list, which gives his home address and private telephone number, because he is known to be a keen angler. ”

    Let us bring this tidbit of news into perspective!

    I have here, some excerpts from an “OUT OF TOWN,” interview with the Author & CBC interviewer Alex Herscovici, July 1986 with regards to “Richard Adams,” the author of “Watership Down” and an original mover and shaker in the early A/R movement of Brittain.


    “Richard Adams is a British children’s writer who wages a concerted one-man media campaign against the fur trade in England. Here is an example of his style: ‘.The bell has tolled for the luxury fur industry, a contemptible business constituting a major moral stigma upon the face of Western civilization. While the trade endures, this society is not really entitled to any sense of collective self-respect.

    The furriers themselves, however, are no more to be blamed than prostitutes{which is what they are: to prostitute being ‘to surrender to infamous use’}. There remains a demand, so these men supply it, being the sort of people who could not make so much money in any decent way.” {from: Out of Town, July 1986}

    Richard Adams has also told Canadian Journalist John Goddard that it would give him great pleasure “to pump six bullets into a furrier”.

    All this moral bluster requires some reflection…..According to A 1986 edition of “Who’s Who’,Mr. Adams, recreations include country pursuits and fly fishing”.

    Mr.Adams also apparently accepts the need to control wildlife populations. From the Isle of Mann, where he has taken up residence to deprive the British Tax collector of the proceeds from his children’s story about rabbits. Adams told a London SUNDAY TIMES reporter that he approved of a proposed cull of some 60,000 rabbits:

    Quote of Richard Adams: “One must be realistic. It’s one thing to write a fantasy about rabbits, but they are a pest in real life and have to be kept down. There is no doubt that rabbits can do an awful lot of harm on a property and they mustn’t be allowed to get out of hand. The rabbits themselves almost accept this. People have always clobbered rabbits and they always will. Watership down {Adams’s book}makes this perfectly clear..”

    Wonder how is it that Mr.Adams accepts the killing of rabbits on his island tax haven, but not the taking of muskrats and beaver? Why should other wildlife managers be classed as demons? The old double standard maybe?

    Mr. Alan Herscovici author of Second Nature The Animal-Rights wanted to know the answers to this double standard. Mr. Herscovici, worked a three-part series for CBC radio Ideas, on the Animal Rights movement in 1986. He was scheduled to appear with Mr. Adams at an interview for the Boston Globe in April 1986. When he asked Mr. Adams about the conflict in the author’s interests, Mr. Adams walked out of the interview. He then refused to do appear on television the following day in New York with Mr. Herscovici.

    Quoting: Mr. Herscovici, after the failed attempt to interview MR Adams. He noted: “Mr.Adams Attitude towards the fur trade is riddled with illogic and contradictions”. “

  • This is an excellent article as it covers the important points for those trying to decide and make informed decisions. Alan has always done well at writing for those people.
    How do we make a change? this is how we do so. By writing and speaking where we can in our own communities like Alan has done here. To help the public understand what happens when trapping and selling of fur is banned. The animals will die anyway, but in a much worse method. The problem animals will be trapped without regard for the time of the year and whether there are young that will starve to death etc.
    Thank you Alan for your dedication to delivering the facts.

  • This is such a good and rational article. To most of us it is stating the sensible and the obvious. But I wonder how many people reading this already understand and agree with what is being said?

    What is important is, are the politicians, the decision makers, the fashion companies and the retailers on board with this, especially the local and national policy makers?

    Until this happens, it is like throwing a ball into the wind. The wind being the massive animal rights machinery that has the ear of the policy makers with its lies and mis-information.

    Is there any sign that headway is being made to counter the argument? Until the public, and more importantly the politicians become aware of it and start believing it, the fur industry will not make any headway against the animal rights bandwagon.

    It’s a circular conundrum at the moment. The politicians believe that they should pursue anti-fur policies because that is the feeling of their public, and the public believe that anti fur is the correct ethos because that is what they are being bombarded with, and their politicians are following an anti fur ethos.

    How can this circle be broken?

  • The surest way to work up a crusade in favor of a cause is to promise people they will have a chance of maltreating someone. To be able to destroy with false conscience, to be able to behave badly and call your bad behavior ‘righteous indignation’ — this is the height of psychological luxury, the most delicious of moral treats for the hypocrite.”

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